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Old 11-10-2013, 06:34 PM
 
3,618 posts, read 3,054,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynavyj View Post
I must have missed where this poster specifically stated that he "hasn't spent much time in any other major city"...seems to be a stretch.

Based on this, I'd assume the only people who qualify as experts are those who define crime stats along the same lines as you (doesn't make much sense) and are world travelers (with quantifiable experience in a wide array of geographical locations, with varying densities, and crime statistics).

I'm not a world traveler, I've been all over this country and am a firm believer that every major metro I've visited has a location I'd rather not go to. When I was flying for the airlines, I've stayed at hotels near every major airport East of Denver, sometimes in rough neighborhoods...have gone jogging in locations that I later decided looked a bit sketchier than I originally observed. I've made it overseas twice (Paris and Germany) and have wandered around aimlessly for hours without feeling "threatened" but I know I've driven through parts of town that were rougher than others while overseas as well.

From my humble opinion, St. Louis has a crime problem...And with it's gentrification, the city is improving. I would never deny however, that certain parts of town are dangerous, while others are fairly safe. But you'll have a hard time convincing me that affluent west county suburbs are somehow as dangerous as low income st. louis city locations just because 1 out of the 10 people in the zipcode has been murdered...that's even more extreme than the arguments putting St. Louis at the top of the crime stats chart.
askmeiknow is welcome to chime in, but I'm guessing he is from this area.

I actually thought this thread was started by the person looking to Priceline a hotel; that's the main reason I was trying to dispel the fear mongering. I don't really care what people who are from here think about the crime here. Won't hurt my feelings any if people who live in the city or suburbs decide crime risk is too high and it's time to move to the exurbs. Different strokes for different folks. Most people I know who are from this area happen to be white, catholic, and affluent, and they all have a very fearful attitude toward the inner city. I think it gets handed down generations - many of their parents left the city back in the 60s with the influx of poor southern blacks. On the other hand, most transplants I know (like me) settle right into neighborhoods like Soulard, the Central West End or University City and just roll with the punches. The don't hang out in north city, but they also don't think it is any worse here in general than any other large American city. Like dawn10am said, it is akin to a form of exceptionalism among the natives here. I think I've witnessed this phenomena in other cities too.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:15 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,444 posts, read 7,014,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zach_33 View Post
askmeiknow is welcome to chime in, but I'm guessing he is from this area.

I actually thought this thread was started by the person looking to Priceline a hotel; that's the main reason I was trying to dispel the fear mongering. I don't really care what people who are from here think about the crime here. Won't hurt my feelings any if people who live in the city or suburbs decide crime risk is too high and it's time to move to the exurbs. Different strokes for different folks. Most people I know who are from this area happen to be white, catholic, and affluent, and they all have a very fearful attitude toward the inner city. I think it gets handed down generations - many of their parents left the city back in the 60s with the influx of poor southern blacks. On the other hand, most transplants I know (like me) settle right into neighborhoods like Soulard, the Central West End or University City and just roll with the punches. The don't hang out in north city, but they also don't think it is any worse here in general than any other large American city. Like dawn10am said, it is akin to a form of exceptionalism among the natives here. I think I've witnessed this phenomena in other cities too.
White flight is hardly unique to St. Louis. Further, it's a bit old fashioned to focus on white flight, as we have been seeing black flight from the city to north county for a couple of decades. From 2000 to 2010, the city lost 8% of its white population and 12% of its black population:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/m...24c11dd08.html

Seems to me that thinking this is unique to St. Louis is a bit of urban apologist exceptionalism.

And contrary to your wish to blame everything on white catholics, it's not just old-line St. Louis white affluent catholics - or even blacks, you might want to expand your horizons a bit: more recent immigrant working class Bosnian Muslims are also quite concerned about crime on the south side:

http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dai...aris_gogic.php

and a lot of them have moved to the suburbs

http://www.stltoday.com/news/multime...ee29fda56.html

Last edited by MUTGR; 11-10-2013 at 09:07 PM..
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:39 AM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,766,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynavyj View Post
If you've been a spatial analysts, and believe you have a valid argument as to why the city is safe, then i'd expect you to be able to prove it with analysis, documentation, or other information. Please do, as I'd like to see it!
The easiest way to demonstrate the fallacy that goes on with "unsafe cities" is the current trendy concept of hotspot policing. The idea of a hot spot is to identify small areas of increased crime within large fields of crime trend. These areas should be only a few hundred feet across, so that the entire hotspot is visible from a single observation point (which is where you park the police car).

I know a few good examples here, but I am not sure which I could list as they related to unpublished papers
As a theoretical example, in a small gridded subdivision with high crime, particularly drug related, your hotspots inevitably will be at street intersections. These intersections are associated with drug dealing, maybe prostitution, sometimes just simply the spot where a certain group of gang members (who deal drugs) hang out. Larceny and burglary, sometimes robbery, radiate out from these intersections in short distances. Crimes against persons become associated with the people who hang out at that intersection.
The odd part is, that inside these very high crime subdivisions, other intersections will have no crime. You will have blocks off houses untouched by burglary. So, the thinking with hotspot policing is to target these intersections and the areas near them in order to prevent crime. Unfortunately, crime is done by people, not locations. It squishes. If the criminal activity is suppressed at one intersection with a police presence, it moves to another. This looks to work best in gridded cities where criminals have less access to vehicles and less transportation away from their home locations. This happens to be the high crime cities that deployed hotspot policing first.

It might not work so well in larger arterial connected cities where the criminals are more likely to have vehicles and be highly mobile. Interesting thing is, this would counter the common belief that criminals will use public transit to travel to and from criminal activity.

The point here is that crime ends up being hyperlocal. The intersection you are near or the block you are on is a much bigger determinant than the city you are in. This is why my experience in the Mission district occurred. The high crime intersections (in this case, a high crime busstop on a high crime intersection) were in retail areas surrounded by dense residential. In particular, intersections associated with crimes against person were located in retail areas, creating highly visible crime that was potentially dangerous to visitors. Many of St Louis' (and I mean the region, not just the city) high crime intersections are in low to medium density residential areas. Because of our highly mobile criminals, big box stores and c-stores near interstates are still be far the highest crime locations, yet even the c-stores do not generate heavy crimes against persons and residential is nowhere near those locations (so no burglaries), so those high crime hotspots do not get as much attention. The residential hot spots are, quite simply, no where near any of the visitor districts (we have a separate issue that our visitor districts are disjointed from our retail districts, particularly in the city).

I don't analysis tourism patterns nor have I ever had access to U City crime reports, so I do not have data to draw on, but the only area where I think you get an overlap between retail, out of town visitors, and nearby hyperlocal crime hotspots is in parts of the Delmar loop. Interestingly, though, because of the sheer numbers of people I think most people feel perfectly safe on the Loop, especially during the day. Add to this the expanding gentrification (especially at the east end), and you have an area where the perception of safety is improving constantly. I am not sure about the reality of safety, though the intense policing of the area ever since the teenager "riots" has probably had an impact.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:44 AM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,766,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynavyj View Post
From my humble opinion, St. Louis has a crime problem...And with it's gentrification, the city is improving. I would never deny however, that certain parts of town are dangerous, while others are fairly safe. But you'll have a hard time convincing me that affluent west county suburbs are somehow as dangerous as low income st. louis city locations just because 1 out of the 10 people in the zipcode has been murdered...that's even more extreme than the arguments putting St. Louis at the top of the crime stats chart.
I think you missed my point with Country Life Acres.
Country Life Acres is not at all dangerous. It is an extremely safe area.
But, using the same statistics that are commonly employed to call St Louis the most dangerous city in America, Country Life Acres is a dangerous city. It is easy to see the flaws in such statistics with an extreme case like Country Life Acres. It is not so easy to see the flaws with a city like St Louis where you have anecdotal confirmation bias to back up the flawed statistics. But the statistics are still flawed and they say that St Louis is the most dangerous major city, but that Country Life Acres is even more dangerous than St Louis. Because the latter statistic violates our anecdotal assumptions, it is easy to see the stat as wrong. Because the former confirms our anecdotal assumptions, it is easy to overlook the statistical flaws.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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I grew up in St Louis. Actually big bad north St Louis county after many left going west to St Charles. Never feared violence and had a very good quality of life in many ways a better than those in St Charles.

I knew people from St Charles who would add time to their travels to downtown by avoiding 70 because they felt danger driving through north city. It was so silly to me because I would drive the same area all of the time without problems.

I know many who live in other areas of the city and suburbs that get a bad rep for crime who are just as safe as anywhere that claim to have low crime.

When I moved I found other cities have the same problems. The perception of safety isn't reality in all situations.

Safety does depends on where you choose to live and also lifestyle choices. Find the actual crime data for you new location. Brake ins muggings and robberies are usually more random than murders.

I tell people all the time in Chicago to pay attention to your surroundings even in "safe" areas. Anything can happen to you in any place if you are not paying attention. If you go to bars to start fights, you will probably get what you're looking for. If you go on dates and invite crazies to your home you are asking for a break in or possible rape. Don't walk down Washington Avenue at 3 am playing angry birds and listening to Miguel with your beats headsets on your iPad air while intoxicated. If you're out late driving, don't pull into gas station that gives you a quezy feeling. As a mater of safety, don't be driving around low on gas late at night at all.

Common sense will decrease your crime risk dramatically.

Last edited by mjtinmemphis; 11-11-2013 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:18 AM
 
3,618 posts, read 3,054,504 times
Reputation: 2788
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUTGR View Post
White flight is hardly unique to St. Louis. Further, it's a bit old fashioned to focus on white flight, as we have been seeing black flight from the city to north county for a couple of decades. From 2000 to 2010, the city lost 8% of its white population and 12% of its black population:

Census shows city is 'hollowing out' : News

Seems to me that thinking this is unique to St. Louis is a bit of urban apologist exceptionalism.

And contrary to your wish to blame everything on white catholics, it's not just old-line St. Louis white affluent catholics - or even blacks, you might want to expand your horizons a bit: more recent immigrant working class Bosnian Muslims are also quite concerned about crime on the south side:

St. Louis Bosnians Meet With Police, Talk Public Safety After Two Tragic Immigrant Shootings

and a lot of them have moved to the suburbs

Making St. Louis Home : stltoday.com
Yeah, right. Guess I hit a nerve with my remark about wealthy white catholic people, eh? No offense, a lot of those people are my family and friends, I just find that sometimes they are bit tone deaf on social issues.

I am in complete agreement that St. Louis is not unique - I thought I made that clear. Longtime residents in every city I have ever lived in tend to have a more negative attitude about crime in their own city, when compared to people who have only moved to an area recently. The people who moved here more recently did not witness firsthand the cycles of decline and wealth migration. St. Louis is very similar to Cleveland, Milwaukee, Memphis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, etc.

I am also aware of the fact that many burbs are experiencing similar patterns of socioeconomic decline that are similar to what occurred in the inner cities ~40 years ago. The subject kind of fascinates me actually. The Brookings Institute did an interesting study (Confronting Suburban Poverty in America) which I believe was referenced in this article from the Atlantic Monthly which I thought was really quite interesting.

American Murder Mystery - Hanna Rosin - The Atlantic
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: St Louis, MO
4,677 posts, read 5,766,533 times
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St Louis does have an exacerbated white flight issue compared to other cities because of historical patterns created by deed covenants combined with the unique nature of Missouri's incorporation process. I would highly recommend Colin Gordon's "Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City" for an in depth discussion of this from a geographic and historical perspective.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:52 AM
 
3,618 posts, read 3,054,504 times
Reputation: 2788
^sounds like a fun read. I'm nearly 100% sure you have encountered this online mapping tool

Poverty by Race, 1980 to 2010

I know the relationship is not causal, but poverty and crime are highly correlated, so I would think you could look at this map for any sizable city and guess with some accuracy where the poverty (and hence, at least to some degree, the crime) has been migrating to/from, and maybe even build this into a real estate pricing model.... far fetched?
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 6,863,586 times
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I've had that book on my Amazon wishlist for aaaages. I think I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy it myself!
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
3,483 posts, read 9,015,984 times
Reputation: 2480
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtinmemphis View Post
I grew up in St Louis. Actually big bad north St Louis county after many left going west to St Charles. Never feared violence and had a very good quality of life in many ways a better than those in St Charles.

I knew people from St Charles who would add time to their travels to downtown by avoiding 70 because they felt danger driving through north city. It was so silly to me because I would drive the same area all of the time without problems.

I know many who live in other areas of the city and suburbs that get a bad rep for crime who are just as safe as anywhere that claim to have low crime.

When I moved I found other cities have the same problems. The perception of safety isn't reality in all situations.

Safety does depends on where you choose to live and also lifestyle choices. Find the actual crime data for you new location. Brake ins muggings and robberies are usually more random than murders.

I tell people all the time in Chicago to pay attention to your surroundings even in "safe" areas. Anything can happen to you in any place if you are not paying attention. If you go to bars to start fights, you will probably get what you're looking for. If you go on dates and invite crazies to your home you are asking for a break in or possible rape. Don't walk down Washington Avenue at 3 am playing angry birds and listening to Miguel with your beats headsets on your iPad air while intoxicated. If you're out late driving, don't pull into gas station that gives you a quezy feeling. As a mater of safety, don't be driving around low on gas late at night at all.

Common sense will decrease your crime risk dramatically.
Totally agree.
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